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Old 12-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #1 
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Question Intro and two questions

The thread title is mistaken, I have 4 questions. Sorry guys :(
Hi there. I'm new here and I am new to fish care. I decided to get a betta because I have wanted to learn how to care for fish and bettas are apparently a good starter fish. Bettas are beautiful and I always feel sorry for them when I see them in their tiny containers at the pet store. I bought a 5 gallon tank, one decoration and multiple fake plants for my fish to hide among. My younger brother is an accomplished fishkeeper and he told me to let the tank adjust for two weeks before buying my fish. I just can't wait to bring one home (excitement!). My brother has kept many fish, but never a betta, so I decided to come here with a few questions I hope some of you will answer.

1. The tank I bought has an incandescent bulb. My brother told me I would not need a heater because of this, but I read somewhere that water temp can drop by more than 8 degrees at night and I don't want the little guy to get cold. Should I get a heater to turn on at night?

2. I want my fish to have the healthiest diet possible. I am catastrophically allergic to shrimp and have heard that frozen brine shrimp can cause reactions in some people. What other kinds of food can I give him? If possible, I plan to feed him a variety of good stuff.

3. Another feeding question: I read that blood worms carry parasites. Should I avoid them altogether, or is there a type that is less likely to make a fish sick?

4. How likely is it that my betta will get sick? Is there anything I should have on hand to treat a potential illness?

I have many more questions, but I don't want to be too difficult . Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:15 AM   #2 
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Location: Florida
1. Yes. Get a heater, preferably an adjustable one.
2. New Life Spectrum or Omega One betta pellets are very good.
3. This, is always an unknown. I don't believe freeze dried bloodworms carry parasites, but they are not as healthy. I feed them once a week as a treat.
4. If you have clean, warm water and a nicely set up tank, with enough hiding spots and a filter that isn't too strong (if you use one) then he will be less likely to get sick. Of course, sometimes things just happen that are out of our control. KEEP aquarium salt and epsom salt on hand, always. Aquarium salt it for external injuries and parasite, and epsom salt for internal problems.

Also, be sure that any plastic plants are safe and any holes in decorations are big enough for you to fit your thumb into. No sharp edges on anything. Silk or real plants are safer than plastic ones.

Also, unless you are doing a fishless cycle, there is no need to let your tank sit for two weeks. Just be sure you have added water conditioner to the tank and that you acclimate your fish correctly.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #3 
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Ayala is spot on.

1) Get an adjustable heater. TopFin and other brands make 25+ Watt adjustable heaters that work very well for 5 gallon tanks (like mine). They allow you to boost the temp in the colder months or when you have a sick fish, as some illnesses can be treated with a jump in water temp.

2) Any pellet that is sized correctly for your fish with high protein content will do, but those that don't have wheat or other plant matter as the first ingredient are preferred. NLS (New Life Spectrum) and Omega One are ideal.

3) I don't feed them at all.

4) It's possible, especially early on when you first get them home. My little dude popped an eye his first night with me. Just keep your eyes on the fish for a week or so after getting him (or her) and respond if you see something amiss.

I keep AQ salt and epsom salt on-hand, and I also keep a box of Maracyn anti-bacterial treatment, as well. It's inexpensive and I'd rather treat the fish asap, versus having to worry about running out late at night or something.

Fake plants are great, if they're silk or silk-like. Plastic ones tend to cut betta fins. The only exception I make are the plastic "fish hammock" stick on leaves. My fish loves the stupid thing. Just use a pair of pliers to pull the thin wire out of the leaf stem before you put it in the tank, or eliminate the chance of rust.

If you decide to start keeping live plants, replace the incandescent bulb with a fluorescent fixture. A 10 watt CFL is much, much brighter than many incandescent, especially if your tank came with a very dim 15W bulb or something similar.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #4 
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And always keep the heater plugged in otherwise it won't work. You don't want it to only work in the night. It is supposed to maintain a steady temp by turning off when it acquires the set temperature.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #5 
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1) Yes, I would get an adjustable heater. Bettas are tropical fish and are more active,healthy, and happy in warmer water.
2) I feed my fish pellets, tropical fish flakes, and betta crisps. Also, instead of brine shimp you can feed them bloodworms. (Random fact- did you know that sea monkeys are a species of brine shrimp? So random LOL, sorry)
3) Live bloodworms are generally the ones accused of parasites, so to avoid the whole ordeal, i just stick to freeze dried.
4) The best thing you can do to prevent sickness in your betta is clean water. But just in case, i like to keep espom salts handy, along with a medication that cures multiple things like fin rot, ich, dropsy, etc...
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:20 AM   #6 
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Warning on your question #2 - I have two brands of betta pellets. Both contain shrimp as an ingredient. (I suspect shrimp is a common ingredient in fish food....)
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